WCBM, Baltimore Announces Programming Changes. Charm City news/talk outlet WCBM “Talk Radio 680” announces a number of coming programming changes. Starting in morning drive, longtime newsman and co-host Frank Luber exits the show but will stay with the station to help with special projects and to continue to serve as a spokesman for some of its major advertisers. WCBM says that Luber and Nicholas Mangione were “instrumental in establishing WCBM as a major news/talk presence in Baltimore.” Beginning November 4, late morning talk host Bruce Elliott joins Sean Casey (who continues to serve as the station’s PD) for “The Morning Drive with Casey & Elliott.” Stepping into the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host role is Derek Hunter, who returns to Baltimore after having served in recent years with the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, and as managing editor at The Daily Caller. The station also adds “The FOX News Rundown” for the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour and Key Networks’ “The O’Reilly Update” with Bill O’Reilly to air from 11:45 am to 12:00 noon.
Monday Memo: Pronouncers for Announcers. How-you-say what-you-say makes a difference, and (obvious) former high school English teacher Holland Cooke explains in this week’s column. Read it here.
ISIS Leader Dead, Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Rep. Katie Hill Resigns, California Wildfires/Power Blackouts, and Brexit Extension Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is reported by President Trump; the impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related allegations of illegal actions against Trump, and Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to the Ukraine; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) resigns her seat after being accused of improper relations with a campaign staffer; the wildfires in California and PG&E’s shutting off electricity to almost 1 million customers; and Boris Johnson gets an extension to January 31 for Britain’s exit from the EU were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Newsmax TV Presents Presidential Town Hall. In conjunction with the League of United Latin American Citizens, Newsmax TV presented a two-hour Presidential Town Hall with top Democratic candidates last Thursday (10/24). Taking part in the Newsmax Town Hall at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines were candidates Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, and Julian Castro. The live Newsmax TV production reached 70 million cable homes.
FOX News Radio Makes ‘Rundown’ Available for Radio Stations. “The FOX News Rundown” launched in 2017 as a podcast hosted by Dave Anthony, Lisa Brady, and Jessica Rosenthal. Now, FOX News Radio is making the program available as an early morning weekday news hour “perfect for setting the stage for your local morning show.” FNR says, “‘The Rundown’ takes a deeper dive into the stories that are important to you and your listeners. Hosted by the anchors of FOX News Radio, the ‘Rundown’ also features voices from FOX News Channel, FOX Business Channel and the world of politics and entertainment.”
Ben & Skin Exit ‘105.3 The Fan’ in Dallas. The midday duo Ben & Skin – Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade – have resigned their positions with Entercom’s sports talk KRLD-FM, Dallas for an opportunity elsewhere. They are being replaced in the station lineup by evening duo Kevin Hageland and Cory Mageors. It’s not known if this is a permanent move or not. Regardless, morning drive co-host Shan Shariff tweeted that the duo was not fired and was moving on to another opportunity.
TALKERS News Notes. Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2020 Todd Starnes Faith and Freedom Celebration to be held at Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, Georgia on April 18, 2020. The annual event has raised more than $300,000 in scholarship money for students at the Christian school. Starnes says, “I can’t say enough great things about Sarah. Our media company is committed to super-serving the communities that broadcast my programs and bringing nationally known speakers to our event is a part of that effort.”…..WODS, Boston morning drive personality TJ Taormina has launched a podcast on Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform called, “Meet My Wife.” Taormina tells TALKERS, “It was an opportunity for me to step up to a blank canvas and create something from scratch. It starts in a music recording studio with a full band and travels from grocery store parking lots, to the middle of Boston Common, to my home living room. I wanted to take a unique approach to the rapidly growing podcast arena and make it something that could complement my daily live radio show.”…..Entercom’s board of directors have approved a clawback policy for five of its highest-paid executives. A clawback is a provision in an employment contract that states money paid to an employee may have to be returned. It’s usually for highly compensated executives and is intended as a sign of goodwill toward investors. In Entercom’s case, stock ownership guidelines were included with this move and require president and CEO David Field to hold Entercom shares equal to at least six times his base salary. It requires CFO Rich Schmaeling, COO Weezie Kramer, chief revenue officer Robert Philips, and EVP/general counsel Andrew Sutor to hold shares of at least two times their base salaries…..Boston public radio news/talk WGBH-FM is adding the NPR-distributed program “1A” to its lineup, airing from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. The program is hosted by Joshua Johnson and focuses on First Amendment issues “related to policy, politics, technology, pop culture, sports, and humor.” The program’s goal is to “act as a national mirror — taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be.”
WHAT IS REAL? Former WWE Champion Mick Foley Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most theatrical professional wrestlers of the modern era who blurred the line between reality and fiction as much as anyone who ever played the game, Mick Foley, guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Foley created several of wrestling’s most memorable characters, including Cactus Jack and Mankind, participating in physically damaging stunts that took his body past the limits of safety and protection. Although he played brutish, psychotic characters, Foley went on to become a best-selling author, public speaker, and articulate supporter of a variety of charities and social causes. In a fascinating one-on-one conversation, Harrison and Foley discuss the nature of reality TV and the role it plays in today’s political circus citing Donald Trump’s participation in the WWE prior to his presidency as an early example of the Commander in Chief’s penchant for mixing over-the-top theatrics with the semblance of real life storylines. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Steve Hoffman is named program director for Beasley Media Group’s hot AC KVGS-FM and assistant program director for sister urban contemporary KOAS, effective October 14. Hoffman has been consulting for the past few years. He was previously on air at KSWD, Los Angeles and programmed KCAL, Riverside for 15 years. Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Peter Burton states, “We have been interested in bringing Steve into the fold for quite some time. I had the pleasure of working with him in Los Angeles for five years. Hiring Steve allows us to continue to surround ourselves with the best in the industry.”…..At Entercom’s CHR KAMP, Los Angeles, Chris Booker shifts from the afternoon drive show to AM drive where he’ll work with co-host Chelsea Briggs and Krystal Bee. The new show replaces Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo. He’d been paired with Brian Moote and Briggs. Briggs exited the station in August. Taking over Booker’s afternoon drive show is midday personality Yesi Ortiz. Moving to middays from weekends is Christen…..iHeartMedia names Adam Rivers program director for its four-station cluster in New Haven. He’d been serving as APD and music director at CHRs WKCI “KC101” and WKSS “KISS 95-7.” He’s now also programming news/talk WELI and sports talk WAVZ “ESPN 1300.” iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb says, “Over the past several years, Adam has truly been the backbone here at ‘KC101’ and a staple in Connecticut radio. Adam’s years of experience and the way he engages with his listeners go far beyond his afternoon drive show and we couldn’t be happier to see him evolve into this new role here in New Haven, Connecticut.”